We set out on this quest, given us by Divine Mandate, to gather four keys with which to close a Hell Gate. Through many adventures, terrible hardship, and horror beyond anything I could have imagined, we have done it. One week ago today, we were given the final key directly from the hands of an Angle. Everything was finally going to plan, and it seemed this quest would be over soon.|
In that week, the events that unfolded and the discoveries I have made about the past have once again crushed my spirits.
The first time the Hell Gate was closed, it was done by Saint Bertram and an unknown priest of Aesia. The exact method was unclear to us until I uncovered the lost scrolls in The Temple Of Saint Bertram. They closed the portal through sacrifice... human sacrifice.
While Saint Bertram stayed on the mortal plain, his priestly companion stepped into the portal and used his life force to keep it shut, his soul and his body forever in torment. Even with the four keys, we still need to use a sacrifice to help close the portal.
And that sacrifice cannot be myself.
I am the only one who can work the spells from this side of the portal, so I must remain on the mortal plane. Yet, I cannot ask one of my companions to do this. We have been through so much, and they deserve a fate far better than an eternity of torment.
Emmon Dane, my constant cohort and devote follower decided for us. He will take the Hell side of the portal while I close it from this side. While it pains me to admit it, his plan is sound, and the two of us will set out tomorrow morning to the top of the Black Fortress, deep in Orc territory. The others will come with us as protection of course, but only the two of us will go to the portal.
This is not the first time I have questioned our mission. Indeed, after every fallen friend and every tragic turn I have questioned if I was doing the right thing or not. But this time... this time, I find myself questioning Aesia Herself. Why would she do this to us? Is this punishment? Is it simply some mortals lot in life to suffer for the greater good? Why us? Why me?
My candle burns low. All these questions will be gone by the time the sun rises in the morning. Because I know deep in my heart that it is a task set to us to ensure that the sun will continue to rise every morning... and for mortals of all races and creeds to continue to live.
I walk, as always, with the guidance of Aesia.